European journal of cardiovascular nursing vol:4 issue:4 pages:298-307
Living with heart failure (HF) means living with a chronic illness characterized by periods of acute decompensation alternating with periods of relative stability. Improved medical care for patients with cardiovascular diseases, coupled with the aging of the populations in the developed world, has resulted in a steadily increasing prevalence of HF. Rehospitalization rates are high for this patient population. In 20-64% of the cases, poor compliance by patients with the prescribed HF treatment is a contributing factor to hospitalization. This article uses a review of the literature on HF non-compliance, including the prevalence, barriers, consequences, and the long-term outcomes of non-compliance with HF therapy, to illustrate remaining issues and questions. Original studies published in English or German between 1966 and June 2004 identified by combining patient compliance, non-compliance, adherence, self-care, rehospitalization, patient education, and management programs, with heart failure in the search strategy are included. Creative approaches to achieving a true partnership between providers and patients are needed if clinical outcomes are to improve.